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Te presento a mi amigo

Can this sentence distinguish between the following two meanings?

  1. I introduce you to my friend

  2. I introduce my friend to you

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2 Answers 2

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The verb presentar means to introduce the direct object, generally to the indirect object.

In your example, te could be either a direct or an indirect object. If the sentence had a direct object with it (te presento mi libro or te lo presento) then we'd know for sure it's functioning as an indirect object. Likewise, if it as an indirect object (ye presento a la compañía, te le presento), we know for sure it functions as an direct object.

So with that in mind, let's look at the rest of the sentence. a mis amigos looks like a pretty clear indirect object, but because amigos is animate, it requires the a personal if it's a direct object.

Thus, as stated, the sentence is ambiguous. Both te and mis amigos can function as either the direct or the indirect object.

You can force the you to them making by adding a second pronoun in front of the verb te les presento a mis amigos because coapparition of the indirect object is permitted with the explicit reference after the verb. Direct objects only allow for coapparition when the explicit reference is in front of the verb, so the sentence stays unambiguous even in leísta dialects.

The only way to force the them to you meaning would be to say te los presento, but then you'd have to mention your friends first: a mis amigos te los presento

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Both answers are possible. You can't distinguish at least that you see the action when the person is saying the phrase. When you say in spanish "Te presento" and you don't specify a little more this could by this can be the person to introduce or the friend.

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  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review
    – fedorqui
    Dec 4, 2015 at 23:21
  • @fedorqui buenas, pudiera explicarme porque mi respuesta no responde a la pregunta por favor, para poder editarla y mejorarla Dec 4, 2015 at 23:23
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    En mi opinión, es demasiado breve y falta de referencias, de ahí que encaje más en la categoría de comentarios que en la de respuesta. Para hacerla más útil iría bien dar una explicación más razonada, algún ejemplo, etc. Puedes mirar How to Answer para obtener más información práctica al respecto. Y por supuesto, ¡bienvenido a Spanish Language!
    – fedorqui
    Dec 4, 2015 at 23:33

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